R and R 2

Laser light is shown passing into a hemi-cylindrical dish filled with water. The light enters the water (at the curved side of the dish) along the normal line; no bending occurs upon entry. The light continues through the water along a straight line until it reaches the boundary with air (at the flat side of the dish). The angle of incidence in the water is just short of 48°. Since the angle of incidence is just less than the air-water critical angle of about 48.6°, there is still a little refraction in addition to the reflection.

 

For more information about the physics of total internal reflection and the critical angle, visit The Physics Classroom Tutorial - www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/refrn/index.cfm.

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Taken on October 13, 2010
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